Thursday, January 12, 2006

Soiree/Felicia's birthday

Sunday 8th Jan.

To another of Patricia's soirees, where an American woman gave a talk on photography - in Paris and Provence. The photos were very good, but all rather pretty, tourist images of France; there were no photos of bars for example, a rather typical aspect of French life - well, that's my excuse why so many of my photos are taken in bars (see below).

Soon after I arrived Patricia noted that I was quite shy at first in a group; which surprised her after my interventions in the discussion at the soiree about Ansari's film on child labour, and my extrovert man-about-town attitude when taking her and Kathy to the Trois Mailltez, etc. This time I got talking to an extrovert New Yorker, who works as a design consultant, which enables her to live in NY and Paris. But her good fortune had been interrupted by a serious personal loss recently, which had made her, like me, determined to carpe diem. But that doesn't mean a sybaritic life, shallowly interpreted; there is intellectual pleasure too and (slipping back into lecturer mode) I recommended my current reading, Steven Johnson's "Mind Wide Open", as well as Chomsky's "Understanding Power" (sadly, like so many Americans, she wasn't familiar with his work, due to the neglect of his work by the mainstream US media). I also chatted briefly to Mike, a Canadian guy, who'd gone to school in England, and was bright and amusing in a rather British, self-deprecating way. I also made sure to get Barney Kirchhoff's card, a reservoir of knowledge about Paris.

After the talk, two American women, Lyle and Felicia, came over and said that Patricia had told them that I could tell them about places they could go on to - already I am the expert here on the local night-life ! Being an English gent - and aspiring bon viveur - I offered to take them.
We went to the usual places - to Trois Mailletz piano bar, where they played Happy Birthday for Felicia and brought her a little cake with a candle at midnight, when her birthday started - she was almost in tears.


Then she was embarrassed when Lyle seriously asked what language they spoke in the UK ! - as she couldn't understand many of them there, though she could understand me. But then many accents are so strong that we Brits have problems understanding people from some areas; so her confusion is understandable.


Dancing in the aisles at Caveau de la Huchette

Then we looked in at the Caveau des Oubliettes where there was a good jazz trio, but it was rather crowded, so we went on, a mere hundred metres or so, to Caveau de la Huchette. I think they had a nice time. Some of the people jiving were quite impressive. Then Lyle got Ignacio - the barman, who's now my pal :-) - to take photos of the three of us and then I took one of him with them, more quickly, and Ignacio said: "Il est professionel" - fortunately it came out OK.

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